Avila promotes information literacy through direct instruction in classes in the general education curriculum and the major, as well as instruction in the library for classes or individuals. Information literacy instruction is also available on the library website.
Outcomes: Avila has identified two campus-wide outcomes related to information literacy. An Avila graduate will:
- Employ skeptical, evaluative and logical approaches in processing information and drawing conclusions.
- Have knowledge of the structures and uses of information systems.
Assessment: The information literacy outcomes are and will continue to be assessed using:
- First Year and Senior surveys
- Information literacy survey
Assessment in the major using benchmarks with plans for improvement.
Mission: Information literacy outcomes are essential to our liberal arts mission and our purpose of preparing students for responsible lifelong contributions to the global community, i.e. a community that relies on ‘knowledge’ workers and linked through instantaneous communication.
ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education
Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning. An information literate individual is able to:
- Determine the extent of information needed
- Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
- Evaluate information and its sources critically
- Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
- Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
- Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally
The Information Literacy Questionnaire (ILQ) was administered by the library to students enrolled in Fundamentals of Communication in fall of 2004, a course usually taken in the first 30 hours of a student’s program. The same iteration of the ILQ was administered to students enrolled in IS courses during fall of 2006. The timing was intended to garner responses from students at the beginning of their program and again during their 3rd year. The survey and results are attached.
There were four points of special interest in the ILQ results.
- The survey collected demographic information on class rank. Students were asked to identify themselves as a 1st year, sophomore, junior, or senior. In 2004 students enrolled in Fundamentals of Communication, a course usually taken in the first 30 hours, were surveyed. In 2006 student enrolled in Interdisciplinary Studies course (Level III course). In 2004 23% of student surveyed self-identified as sophomores and 5% as juniors. In 2006 in the Level III course 19% self-identified as 1st year and 23% as sophomores. Students may not be accurate in reporting their status. Or it may be that 1st year students are enrolled in a Level III course as well as transfer students reporting they are in their 1st year. This suggests that students may miss out on instruction necessary to meet Avila’s information literacy ILOs.
- Question # 2 asks about search strategy on a specific topic, global warming. 28% identified resources that would have questionable currency or accuracy (Internet or online catalog) while 12% indicated a 2002 edition of the Encyclopedia of Science & Technology. Given current press coverage, the need for currency, accuracy and scholarly resources is clear.
- Question # 8 asks the best way to find a scholarly journal article. 27% of Level III students would have difficulty: 6% would begin by paging through print volumes; 10% would use Google; and 11% would search the online catalog. The time delays and difficulty these students would encounter completing assignments would be considerable.
- In 2004, when asked to identify a citation from the journal Information & Communications Technology Law, 57% of students were unsuccessful. In 2006 33% were unsuccessful. This level of recognition for scholarly sources is unacceptable.